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Gua Bao with 5 Spice Pulled Beef (Steamed Sandwich Buns)

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Gua Bao (literally means “cut bun”), also called sandwich bun or foldover bun, is a typical Taiwanese street food that originated from Fujian in Southeastern China. It is also commonly called Taiwanese hamburger or “tiger bites pig” in Taiwan as the bun resembles the mouth of a tiger. Traditionally, the fillings consist of stewed pork belly and stir fried pickled mustard green, garnished with coriander and ground peanuts. Popular savoury variations include fried fish, eggs, stewed beef, fried chicken, eggs, vegetarian and for those with sweet tooth, fillings can include jams and fruits. The same dough for the buns can also be made into fluffy steamed buns or mantou. The savoury fillings can also be served with steamed rice. For my gluten free Asian recipe, the fillings for my gua bao is stewed five spice beef brisket cooked in pressure cooker and then shredded to make pulled beef, together with shredded carrots and cucumber, garnished with fresh chilli, coriander and spring onion and served in gluten free steamed buns. This recipe is also dairy free, soy free, nut free, egg free and refined sugar free.  This stewed five spice beef brisket can be served with steamed rice or even ready-made store bought gluten free buns if preferred.

Beef brisket is a regular cut of beef used mainly for corned beef, barbecue or pot roast or stews. This cut is from the cow’s breast section just below its first five ribs and above the forelegs. The flat cut or flat half is deemed the healthier and leaner half of the brisket with less calories (also called first cut or thin cut). Brisket is high in protein, complete with all the essential amino acids. In addition, brisket contains high levels of oleic acid that aids in increasing the levels of good cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and at the same time reducing the bad cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Oleic acid is also found in olive oil. Lean brisket is contains many vitamins and minerals. It is a substantial source of the B group of vitamins like vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and vitamin B12. Lean brisket is also an excellent source of minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and selenium. Health benefits of lean brisket include: prevention of diabetes; lower risks of high cholesterol and reduced risk of cancerous cells growth; support healthy red blood cells and stimulate energy in the body. Lean brisket can be a good addition to a healthy diet if eaten in moderation.

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